"Large Flash Memory, Easy To Use"5.0 starson by catrielb
Pros: huge flash memory, long battery life, large(r) screen, ease of use
Cons: no user replaceable battery, no scroll-through
Summary: This is my fifth Sansa ? the most previous ones being the 16GB View, and the e280, at 8 GB capacity. Most of my review here is influenced by a year?s use of the e280, plus about 8 months? use of the 16GB View. (See my detailed review on C-Net at http://reviews.cnet.com/mp3-players/sandisk-sansa-e280-8gb/4864-6490_7-32041576.html?ctype=msgid&messageSiteID=7&messageID=2509586&cval=2509586&tag=uolst ). Of course, 32 GB is double or quadruple what I was used to, and enabled me to load a huge amount of music. The case size is a bit thinner back to front than the e280, but almost an inch longer and about .75 inches wider. The scroll wheel is much better designed with a ?hit? button right in the middle, and the wheel also can be depressed at four corners to initiate commands (back, forward, etc.). While some users found the wheel in the e280 ?flimsy? or ?rickety?, the wheel on the View feels solid and rotates much more smoothly and evenly. All commands are initiated via this wheel, the central ?hit? button, and the menu button just above and to the right of the wheel.
In detail: Like my e280, both Views operated perfectly right out of the box ? they came (like the e280) with the hold switch ?on?; I knew to unlock it before turning it on. Inside the box were the unit, the ear plugs, the USB cable (30-connector special to the Sansa series, including the e- and c- series), and literature. Also included was a mini-CD with the user manual in about 15 languages. The unit came pre-loaded with a few pictures, songs, and videos; they were NOT visible at all when USB connected to my computer. I erased them by a simple command on the View, something not possible on the e-series.
I use the View strictly as an MP3 player ? no videos, no talking books, no voice recordings -- so all of my evaluation is specifically done as a music listening source. I include in this the FM radio, which I use quite a bit. And at the outset I must say that I have NEVER used the ear plugs supplied with the View; I always use a behind-the-neck over-the-ears headphones such as the Koss KSC55 or Sennheiser PMX100. This ups the listening quality by a thousand percent! Also, all my listening is only classical music ? no Rock, Jazz, Pop, etc.; only classical.
I love this View. I?ve loaded half of my CD library on it. I don?t download any music, it?s all transferred from my own CD collection (over 1000). I use a bitrate of 160 kbps and with the user-set equalizer I get amazing music reproduction. Loading is very easy via drag-and-drop; a typical 65 minute CD takes about 30 seconds to transfer onto the View. Once transferred, all music is very easy to choose by scrolling through the various music albums or songs. My one BIG gripe about the View is the lack of scroll-through in the music listings. Since 32GB holds around 500 CD?s, when you are at ?Z? and want to get to ?A? it takes about two minutes of scrolling back through the whole alphabet ? the e-series had scroll-through, meaning that after ?Z? comes ?A? without changing direction. One other draw-back is the lack of a user-replaceable battery ? in fact, ANY replaceable battery. When the battery dies, you can just throw the View away! Even Sandisk will not replace the battery. I?ve kind-of gotten around this by never shutting the View off: I bought an AC USB adaptor, and as soon as I stop using the View, I plug it into the adapter and thus it?s always fully charged ? or charging. I?m fairly convinced that this extends the useful battery life considerably ? and you don?t have to go through the rigamorole of starting up the View.
I carry the View around in my shirt pocket upside-down (the headphone jack is on the bottom) and thus just by putting a finger in the pocket I can turn the wheel to adjust the volume. I?ve (so far) had no scratches, nothing broken, nothing gone wrong, only lots of pleasure and lots of music. The battery life seems to last a long time, and no problems have been encountered (again, so far!). It?s a great piece of electronics, and for my purposes, absolutely perfect, except for the lack of scroll-through. It?s great.